Video content: How to localise and optimise for the global marketplace

It’s not only written content that benefits from SEO and localisation. Optimising video brings it to the attention of markets all over the world.


      In recent years, video content has become widespread throughout the internet. And with 72% of people preferring to explore products and services via video, it’s no surprise that marketers and consumers love video so much. Tapping into this global market, however, requires a video marketing strategy to be localised to suit target markets around the world.

      A key aspect of video content localisation is optimisation. Just like any other form of online content, videos must be optimised for popular search engines in order to come to the attention of the intended audience.

      Here’s how to optimise your video content so that it will grab the attention of potential consumers in all your global markets.

      1. Build your video SEO strategy

      An effective SEO strategy for your video content begins with conducting extensive research into the markets you wish to target. The most obvious feature of the region that has repercussions for SEO is the language that is spoken. Then there are also cultural and behavioural differences to consider.

      It is a good idea to keep video content as regionally neutral as possible, which will minimise the time, effort and costs required to adapt it for local markets.

      How can you communicate your message in a way that will both engage viewers and be universally understood around the globe?

      Another aspect of SEO to bear in mind is how quickly it will age. Content that is timeless will continue to deliver returns on your investment for many years to come, whereas short-lived content will soon cause your video to disappear from potential customers’ radars.

      2. Localise your video dialogue

      Video is, of course, primarily a visual medium, but the spoken word is also an essential part of the marketing message. Not only does localising the language allow the target market to understand your video, it also frames your brand, your products and your services as being part of the local community, rather than being broadcast from some far-off country with no interest in the local culture.

      So, how do you go about localising a video voiceover? There are three common solutions to this translation challenge: add subtitles, record a new voiceover or create a transcript.

      Add subtitles

      Subtitling provides a video’s spoken dialogue in an on-screen, written-text format translated into the local language, thus enabling multiple global markets to understand the same video. Although it is possible to automate this process with the likes of YouTube and Google Translate, this does not provide the standard of localisation an international brand requires in order to maintain a strong reputation (the consequences of automatic translation can range from the incomprehensible to the downright offensive!). A better option for any business wanting accurate translations that have been created to generate maximum impact is to work with a professional localisation service provider (LSP). And finally, as 92% of consumers watch videos with the sound off, subtitles are also a great idea even for your home audience.

      Record a new voiceover

      Creating an additional voiceover in a new language provides understandable audio with the original voice still audible, although quietened, in the background. A more complex process, where the original voice is completely removed and only the second language is present, is referred to as dubbing. For both voiceover and dubbing, an LSP will select a voice actor to record the dialogue in the required language. Rather than simply speaking the words, the new-language version will be articulated with all the tone and inflection of the original.

      Create a transcript

      A transcript of a video is a written document containing every word spoken during the recording. Once a transcript has been created, it is a relatively simple process to translate it into different languages. Viewers in international markets can then use the transcript to understand the video’s dialogue.

      3. Optimise for localised keywords

      At the vanguard of your SEO keyword strategy are the video’s title, description and meta tags. Any additional documentation, such as a transcript, can also be optimised. Incorporate location-specific keywords to maximise its impact for each international audience.

      4. Write a powerful description

      A well-written description of your video will entice potential viewers to take a look. It is also a chance to boost SEO by incorporating well-chosen keywords. It is wise, therefore, to avoid any temptation to limit your description to a sentence or two, and to take full advantage of the available word-count to compose a comprehensive depiction of the video’s purpose and content. As with any piece of marketing communication, you should also take the opportunity to convey the benefits to the reader and end with an inspiring call to action.

      5. Make use of hashtags

      When used strategically, hashtags can propel your video to the attention of huge audiences that would otherwise be unaware of its existence. Hashtags boost recognition among targeted groups of people, advance SEO, and allow your video to piggy-back on the popularity of trending events and topics. Just be careful not to overdo it, as search engine algorithms will punish the excessive use of hashtags.

      Attract a global audience for your videos

      Video content that appears to have been generated locally, wherever in the world it is viewed, builds valuable commercial relationships within that community. A localised video content strategy, therefore, is crucial for the growth of global sales.

      To ensure that every aspect of your video content is localised and optimised for international success, you need to deploy expertise across a number of fields, including language, marketing, technology and global cultures. Here at Semantix, we bring all these specialities together to transform local content into global content.

      Are you considering video as part of your marketing strategy?